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Matthews-Mint Hill - Carolina Weekly Newspapers

Matthews-Mint Hill - Carolina Weekly Newspapers

the reeldealby Sean

the reeldealby Sean Every person, at some point in his or her (Ray McKinnon) can give the boy an escape ‘The Blind Side’ life, benefits from a helping hand. “Blind Side” route from the slums. Oher’s mother, a crack Southerners take religion and football very seriously. So, too, does John Lee Hancock’s “The Blind Side,” which tells the biographical story of gentle giant Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron) and his unconventional path from Memphis’ ghettos to the National Football League. questions with sincerity whether it matters if that hand is black or white. Nicknamed “Big Mike” for his obvious size, Oher is dropped on the steps of Tennessee’s prestigious Briarcrest Christian School by an uncle who hopes the resident football coach addict, can’t remember the identity of Mike’s father. And the soft-spoken, unassuming teenager has been passed along from grade to grade by a lazy public school system. One rainy night, Oher is approached by spitfire socialite Leigh Anne Touhy (Sandra Bullock) and offered shelter because, as she informs her accommodating husband (Tim McGraw), it’s the Christian thing to do. And there’s the hook. “The Blind Side” recycles the charitable messages of other religion-based films, from “Facing the Giants” to “ Fireproof,” but presents them in an accessible, mainstream package. Relative newcomer Aaron will turn heads with his tender portrayal. But it’s Bullock, her feathers ruffled into full “sass” mode, who slices through the narrative’s inherent melodrama like a hot knife through butter (until Hancock overwhelms her with schmaltz during the film’s prolonged ‘An Education’ We’ve seen coming-of-age dramas that pit those who advocate studying about life against free spirits enamored with living. The most recent would be “An Education,” Lone Scherfig’s handsomely crafted and beautifully acted awakening story that’s predictable but consistently rewarding. It’s London in 1961, and Jenny (Carey Mulligan) is a book-smart British teen who’s being groomed for Oxford by her parents (Alfred Molina, Cara Seymour). Caught in a storm while walking home from school, Jenny’s approached by David (Peter Sarsgaard) and offered a ride. They flirt, and instantly click. David wines and dines Jenny with orchestral concerts, exquisite food in exclusive eateries and whirlwind trips to Paris. With him, Jenny’s carefree dreams and urbane aspirations seem possible. The roller-coaster romance comes with real risk, real reward and real consequences – at least until the unrealistically tidy ending. Scherfig shows a keen understanding of Jenny’s cash-strapped, blue-collar home life as well as the privileged fantasy world she longs to join. But “Education” benefits most from its fine ensemble savoring a flavorful script by Nick Hornby (“About a Boy,” “High Fidelity”). Sarsgaard’s David is an usher of London’s soonto-be-swinging ’60s, all charm until the other shoe drops. Molina gives a crackerjack performance as Jenny’s father, who’s concerned for his daughter yet not immune to her suitor’s charms. Scherfig’s actors, to a person, deliver exactly what is required, Page 20 • Nov. 20-26, 2009 • Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly Quinton Aaron and Sandra Bullock Carey Mulligan, center no matter the size of the role, be it Emma Thompson as Jenny’s headmistress, Olivia Williams as her disappointed teacher, or Rosamund Pike as the superficial arm candy of David’s best friend (Dominic Cooper). Everyone is great. Yet courtesy of Jenny’s awakening, we also wake up to a vivacious new personality in Mulligan. The actress first appeared as a Bennet sister in Joe Wright’s stellar 2005 adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice.” It was a bit part. Currently, her dance card is full. But not before this radiant girl, who requests that her older lover treat her like a grown-up, carries “Education” on her mature portrayal. q Grade: HHH out of 4 MPAA Rating: PG-13 for mature thematic material involving sexual content and for smoking Cast: Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard Genre: Drama Studio: Sony Pictures Classics ‘Precious’ A title card preceding Lee Daniels’ end credits for “Precious” dedicates his difficult melodrama to “precious girls everywhere.” That’s a terrifying thought. I’d prefer to believe, naïve as this may sound, that Claireece “Precious” Jones – the pregnant, illiterate and emotionally abused teenager at the heart of Daniels’ raw film – is a rarity, an exception to the rule who society accidentally overlooked as she slipped through the cracks of her own shattered existence. “Precious” works because we know that isn’t the case. Her predicaments might be considered extreme. At 16, she’s pregnant with her second child, both of whom can be traced to her abusive father. But they’re also tragically recognizable because more and more teenagers find Precious relatable. Newcomer Gabourey Sidibe brings a steely resolve to the title character, an overweight, undereducated black girl who enrolls in the alternative “Each One, Teach One” program when her public high school shows her the door. Precious slides under the wing of nurturing instructor Blu Rain (Paula Patton) and connects with a social worker (Mariah Carey) and a kindly male nurse (Lenny Kravitz). These sympathetic people afford Precious brief respite from the tumultuous storm waiting at home in the form of her mother, Mary (Mo’Nique). Daniels and scripter Geoffrey Fletcher adapt “Precious” from the bestseller “Push,” Grade: HHH out of 4 MPAA Rating: R for child abuse, including sexual assault, and pervasive language Cast: Gabourey Sidibe, Mo’Nique Genre: Drama Studio: Lionsgate O'COnnell Grade: HH1/2 out of 4 MPAA Rating: PG-13 for one scene involving brief violence, drug and sexual references Cast: Sandra Bullock, Quinton Aaron Genre: Drama Studio: Warner Bros. conclusion). “Blind Side” also gets credit for cautiously addressing the chasm that still exists between whites and blacks, particularly in the South’s major metropolises. Because Hancock gives his scenes room to breathe, “Blind Side” can focus on Southern hospitality as well as the region’s not-so-closeted racism, still evident just below the culture’s surface. The film falls back on easy stereotypes as it separates Oher’s worlds, which is unfortunate. But the fact that Hancock brings this social issue to the table is worth mentioning. q Gabourey Sidibe performance poet Sapphire’s debut novel that she modeled after the teenage girls she tutored in Harlem and the Bronx. And the significance of the book’s title makes sense in the film’s context. While Precious has one teacher pushing her toward independence, any progress is instantly negated because the girl’s abusive monstrosity of a mother stands in her path and consistently pushes her down. Recommending “Precious” proves challenging, regardless of the film’s quality. It’s expertly acted, and competently directed, though Daniels employs a few manipulative flourishes that are unnecessary given the material’s emotional heft. And that’s the key issue. “Precious” shines a spotlight on uncomfortable problems – rape, incest, child abuse, poverty, illiteracy – that too many of us tend to ignore in hopes that they’ll one day go away. But to skip “Precious” would mean missing some fantastic performances, from Patton’s steadfast instructor and Sidibe’s vulnerable student to Mo’Nique’s terrifyingly selfish and unpredictable bully of a parent. Not since “The Silence of the Lambs” has a character named Claireece stared down such a loathsome creature and lived to tell the tale. q HHHH Instant ClassIC | HHH Worth Your $8 | HH rental, at Best | H BomB Tune in to WBTV News 3 every Friday morning during the 5 o’clock hour for Sean’s weekly movie review segment and read his reviews at www.matthewsminthillweekly.com. www.matthewsminthillweekly.com

ARBORETUM 12 8008 Providence Rd. 704-643-3456 The Twilight Saga: New Moon (PG-13) Fri. - Sun. (1000 1030 100 130)400 430 700 730 1000 1030 Planet 51 (PG) Fri. - Sun. (1005 1220 235)450 720 940 The Blind Side (PG-13) Fri. - Sun. (1240)415 725 1015 2012 (PG-13) Fri. - Sun. (1210 110)335 435 705 800 1025 Men Who Stare At Goats (R) Fri. - Sun. (1015 1230 245)500 735 950 Christmas Carol (PG) Fri. - Sun. (1200 220)440 715 935 Michael Jackson: This Is It (PG) Fri. - Sun. (1020 1250)410 745 1010 Astro Boy (PG) Fri. - Sun. (1010 1225 240)455 710 930 Where The Wild Things Are (PG) Fri. - Sun. (1205 225)445 750 1005 Couples Retreat (PG-13) Fri. - Sun. (1040 115)405 740 1020 CAROLINA PAVILION 22 South Blvd. (Off I-485 exit 65A) 888-262-4386 The Blind Side (PG-13) Fri & Sat: 10:15 AM, 11:15 AM, 1:20, 2:20, 4:10, 5:15, 7:15, 8:15, 10:1 0, 11:15; Sun: 10:15 AM, 11:15 AM, 1:20, 2:20, 4:10, 5:15, 7:15, 8:15, 10:10; Mon & Tue: 12:10, 1:20, 3:10, 4:10, 6:15, 7:15, 9:10, 10:10 Planet 51 (PG) Fri - Sun: 10:10 AM, 11:45 AM, 12:45, 1:55, 3:15, 4:40, 5:40, 7:45, 8: 00, 10:25, 10:30; Mon & Tue: 12:45, 1:55, 3:15, 4:40, 5:40, 7:45, 8:0 0, 10:25, 10:30 Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (R) Fri & Sat: 10:00 AM, 10:45 AM, 12:40, 1:40, 3:20, 4:20, 5:50, 7:10, 8:2 0, 9:45, 10:50, 12:25 AM; Sun: 10:00 AM, 10:45 AM, 12:40, 1:40, 3:20, 4:20, 5:50, 7:10, 8:20, 9:45, 10:50; Mon: 12:40, 1:40, 3:20, 4:20, 5:50, 7:10, 8:20, 9:45, 10:50; Tue: 12:40, 3:20, 5:50, 8:20, 10:50 The Twilight Saga: New Moon (PG-13) Fri & Sat: 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 12:00, 1:00, 2:00, 3:10, 4:00, 5:10, 6:2 0, 7:00, 8:30, 9:30, 10:00, 11:30, 12:30 AM; Sun: 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM , 12:00, 1:00, 2:00, 3:10, 4:00, 5:10, 6:20, 7:00, 8:30, 9:30, 10:00; Mon & Tue: 12:00, 12:30, 1:00, 3:10, 4:00, 4:30, 6:20, 7:00, 7:45, 9:30, 10:0 0, 10:45; Wed & Thu: 1:00, 4:00, 7:00, 10:00 2012 (PG-13) Fri - Sun: 10:30 AM, 11:30 AM, 12:15, 1:50, 3:00, 3:50, 5:30, 6:25, 7:2 5, 9:00, 10:00, 10:45; Mon & Tue: 12:15, 1:50, 3:00, 3:50, 5:30, 6:25, 7:25, 9:00, 10:00, 10:45 The Box (PG-13) Fri - Tue: 12:50, 3:30, 6:30, 9:05 Disney’s A Christmas Carol (PG) Fri - Sun: 11:35 AM, 12:35, 2:05, 3:05, 4:30, 5:30, 6:50, 8:10, 10:35; Mon & Tue: 12:35, 2:05, 3:05, 4:30, 5:30, 6:50, 8:10, 10:35 The Fourth Kind (PG-13) Fri - Sun: 11:40 AM, 2:15, 4:35, 7:30, 10:05; Mon & Tue: 2:15, 4:35, 7:30, 10:05 Men Who Stare at Goats (R) Fri - Tue: 1:15, 6:40 Michael Jackson’s This Is It (PG) Fri - Sun: 10:50 AM, 2:30, 5:20, 7:55, 10:40; Mon & Tue: 2:30, 5:20, 7:55, 10:40 Astro Boy (PG) Fri - Sun: 11:20 AM, 1:45, 4:25; Mon & Tue: 1:45, 4:25 Saw VI (R) Fri - Tue: 9:20 PM Good Hair (PG-13) Fri - Tue: 4:15, 9:10 Law Abiding Citizen (R) Fri - Tue: 12:30, 3:40, 6:50, 9:35 Paranormal Activity (R) Fri - Tue: 3:45, 9:15 The Stepfather (PG-13) Fri - Tue: 6:55, 9:25 www.matthewsminthillweekly.com Times are subject to change. Please call the theater for up-to-the-minute information. Couples Retreat (PG-13) Fri: 1:30, 6:45; Sat: 6:45 PM; Sun - Tue: 1:30, 6:45 An Education (PG-13) Fri - Sun: 11:10 AM, 1:50, 4:45, 7:20, 9:50; Mon & Tue: 1:50, 4:45, 7:20, 9:50 CINEMARK 10 9508 Northeast Court 704-847-5245 Julie & Julia (PG-13) 4:25pm 7:10pm 9:50pm The Invention Of LyinG (PG-13) 4:10pm 7:35pm 10:10pm Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself (PG-13) 3:50pm 7:15pm 9:45pm Final Destination: Death Trip (R) 3:20pm 5:20pm 7:20pm 9:25pm G-Force (PG) 3:00pm 5:15pm 7:25pm 9:30pm G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra (PG-13) 6:55pm Halloween 2 (R) 7:30pm 10:05pm Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs – 2D (PG) 3:10pm 5:25pm 7:40pm 10:00pm Inglourious Basterds - CinéArts (R) 3:45pm 9:40pm Shorts (PG) 3:15pm 5:30pm 7:45pm 9:55pm The Informant! (R) 4:05pm 7:05pm 9:35pm The Time Traveler’s Wife (PG-13) 4:30pm CROWNPOINT 12 9630 Monroe Road 704-847-2024 2012 (PG-13) 12:05pm, 12:40pm, 3:25pm, 4:00pm, 7:00pm, 7:25pm, 10:10pm, 10:35pm The Blind Side (PG-13) 11:20am, 2:00pm, 4:40pm, 7:20pm, 10:15pm Disney’s A Christmas Carol in Digital 3D (PG) 12:20pm, 2:35pm, 4:55pm, 7:10pm, 9:45pm The Fourth Kind (PG-13) 12:30pm, 2:55pm, 5:20pm, 7:55pm, 10:10pm, 12:25am Law Abiding Citizen (R) LIVING SAFE. LIVING HEALTHY. LIVING SMART. Our managers don’t just manage, they live right there in the communities with residents they call their friends. And if your friends include those with fur, that bark or purr, not to worry. We like pets too! Enjoy award-winning activities and exciting events with a full monthly calendar of things to participate in. Our resident enrichment program focuses on activities for the mind, body, and soul. Our all-inclusive monthly rent saves you time and money with utilities paid, three chef-prepared meals a day, transportation service, housekeeping, travel accommodations, and so much more! Call 866-293-3270 today to learn why living in a Holiday Retirement Community is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. Shads Landing Independent Retirement Living 5101 Prosperity Church Road, Charlotte, NC 28269 shadslanding.com Crescent Heights Independent Retirement Living 240 Branchview Drive NE, Concord, NC 28025 crescentheightsretirement.com Willow Grove Independent Retirement Living 10043 Idlewild Road, Matthews, NC 28105 willowgroveretirement.com Carmel Place Independent Retirement Living 5512 Carmel Road, Charlotte, NC 28226 carmelplace.net Please bring this coupon in to a Holiday Retirement Community for your complimentary meal and tour. Call 866-293-3270 today! ©2009 HOLIDAY RETIREMENT 2973 12:10pm, 2:40pm, 5:05pm, 7:35pm, 10:05pm Michael Jackson’s This Is It (PG) Noon, 2:30pm, 5:00pm, 7:30pm, 10:00pm Planet 51 (PG) 12:55pm, 3:05pm, 5:15pm, 7:25pm, 9:40pm, 11:55pm Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (R) 11:50am, 12:25pm, 2:20pm, 2:55pm, 4:50pm, 5:25pm, 7:20pm, 7:50pm, 9:55pm, 10:30pm, 12:20am The Twilight Saga: New Moon (PG-13) 11:15am, 11:45am, 1:55pm, 2:25pm, 4:35pm, 5:05pm, 7:15pm, 7:45pm, 9:55pm, 10:25pm, 12:30am DISCOVERY PLACE IMAX® DOME 301 N. Tryon Street 704-372-6261 Under the Sea Fri: 10am, noon, 2pm; Sat: 10am, noon, 2pm, 4pm; Sun: 1pm, 3pm Adventures in Wild California Fri: 11am, 1pm, 3pm; Sat: 5pm The Light Before Christmas Sat: 11am, 1pm, 3pm; Sun: 2pm, 4pm STONECREST 22 7824 Rea Rd. 704-540-7575 2012 (PG-13) Fri. - Sat. (1140 1210 1245)305 335 405 630 705 740 955 1040 1110; Sun. (1140 1210 1245)305 335 405 630 705 740 955 1040 Men Who Stare At Goats (R) Fri. - Sat. (955 1215 235)455 715 935 1155; Sun. (955 1215 235)455 715 935 The Box (PG-13) Fri. - Sat. 645 925 1205; Sun. 645 925 The Fourth Kind (PG-13) Fri. - Sat. 805 1025 1245; Sun. 805 1025 Christmas Carol (PG) Fri. (1255)315 535; Sat. (1035)315 535; Sun. (1255)315 535 IMAX: A Christmas Carol 3D (PG) Fri. - Sat. 1145 210 425 650 910 1150; Sun. 1145 210 425 650 910 A Christmas Carol 3D (PG) Fri. - Sat. (950 1225 245)510 735 950 1210; Sun. (950 1225 245)510 735 950 Michael Jackson: This Is It (PG) Fri. (1105 140)420; Sat. (1105 140)420 655 945 1225; Sun. (1105 140)420 655 945 Astro Boy (PG) Fri. - Sun. (1230 255)520 Law Abiding Citizen (R) Fri. (1110 150)440; Sat. (1110 150)440 725 1005 1235; Sun. (1110 150)440 725 1005 Where The Wild Things Are (PG) Fri. - Sun. (1115 155)415 Couples Retreat (PG-13) Fri. - Sun. 755 1035 Paranormal Activity (R) Fri. - Sat. 750 1015 1230; Sun. 750 1015 The Blind Side (PG-13) Fri. - Sun. (1010 1045 110 145)410 445 710 745 1010 1045 The Twilight Saga: New Moon (PG-13) Fri. - Sat. (940 1000 1030 1100 1130 1220 1240 100 130 200 230)320 340 400 430 500 530 620 640 700 730 800 830 920 940 1000 1030 1100 1130 1220 1240 100; Sun. (940 1000 1030 1100 1130 1220 1240 100 130 200 230)320 340 400 430 500 530 620 640 700 730 800 830 920 940 1000 1030 1100 Planet 51 (PG) Fri. - Sat. (930 1020 1150 1250 220)310 450 540 720 930 1140; Sun. (930 1020 1150 1250 220)310 450 540 720 930 Twilight Saga: New Moon - DP (PG-13) Fri. - Sat. (1200)300 600 900 1200; Sun. (1200)300 600 900 OC & DA: A Christmas Carol (PG) Fri. (1035); Sat. (1255); Sun. (1035) UNION SQUARE 8 1911 Dickerson Blvd., Monroe 704-643-3456 The Twilight Saga: New Moon (PG-13) Fri. - Sat. (1000 1100 100 200)400 500 700 800 1000 1100; Sun. (1000 1100 100 200)400 500 700 800 1000 The Blind Side (PG-13) Fri. - Sun. (1030 145)430 740 1030 Planet 51 (PG) Fri. - Sun. (1005 1215 230)450 725 950 2012 (PG-13) Fri. - Sun. (1210)340 710 1025 The Fourth Kind (PG-13) Fri. - Sun. (1010 1230 250)520 750 1015 Christmas Carol (PG) Fri. - Sun. (1200 220)440 715 940 Paranormal Activity (R) Fri. - Sun. (1015 1220 240)510 730 945 Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly • Nov. 20-26, 2009 • Page 21

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